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Council President Clarke Optimistic About End To City’s Budget Battle

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke.  File photo by Steve Tawa)

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke. File photo by Steve Tawa)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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by Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  City Council President Darrell Clarke postponed a Thursday morning budget hearing until next Tuesday. He hopes that will be the time when the council members come to an agreement on the complex and controversial budget battle.

“We’re at a point where we really have to make a decision,” Clarke said. “Because we’re closely approaching the end of our fiscal year.”

The debate is over the mayor’s plan to raise $94-million more for the school district by overhauling the property tax system, with new assessments of all properties and a new tax rate yet to be determined.

Nutter’s Finance Director Rob Dubow left the postponed hearing voicing optimism:

“I’m always optimistic,” Dubow said.

Any deal reached in June will still come before the total value of the reassessments is known.  That is not expected until late summer.  And the mayor’s proposal hinges on two key votes in Harrisburg that have yet to happen.  The uncertainty has Clarke and his colleagues on edge.

“Hopefully between now and (next week) we get a clear signal as it relates to the direction that (the state legislature) will ultimately go.”

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